In A Word: Spectacular
Northern Ireland’s instrumental math rock quartet And So I Watch You From Afar are back with their second studio album, Gangs. Right from the start the bouncy yet powerful guitar riffs in “BEAUTIFULUNIVERSEMASTERCHAMPION” amps up the album’s energy. With noisy, and grungy guitars matched with heart-racing drums “Gang (Starting Never Stopping) picks up where the first track left off to ensure the sugar rush doesn’t stop. During “Search:Party:Animal” a sense of paranoia is brought out by the booming drums and menacing sirens.
In contrast to the third piece, “7 Billion People All Alive At Once” is a carefree tune with fun vocals, a funkalicious bass groove and whimsical melodies. Overall, this composition is easy to get down to. Robotic guitars and a Celtic tribute can be found in “Think:Breathe:Destroy,” one of the semi-weak spots on Gangs. This tune lacks the spark that the others pushed forth. With drums that mimic the sound of someone running, the chaos continues with “Homes- …Samara To Belfast.” Despite ending in a soft lull, the intense start and stop pacing of the instruments adds an effect that sounds like punches are being thrown in different directions and aids in making the seventh song one of the standout pieces on the album. Clanking drum sticks count off the eighth and final cut, “LifeProof.” The final song has a much stronger classic post-rock sound to it, and ends on an explosive note with the sounds of trashcans being banged on.
Though each cut on Gangs has a different sound, they all flow together to create an album that is nothing short of high energy and leaves the listener gasping for more. Despite the fact that some songs are stronger than others, a favorite can be made by each and every one of them.
—by Roz Smith, November 24, 2011